Thursday, February 19, 2009

Day 1

Dissertation Writing Trip Day 1

The plane ride to San Francisco was short and sweet. Thankfully. I turned on my iPod and listened to an interview with Alan Ball about next season’s True Blood. FYI, if you are into spoilers and have been checking out the casting sheets for next season that are going around the web, they’ve been throwing in fakes to mess with fans. I totally love that. The interview lasted the whole trip and I didn’t have to be annoyed at the chatty young ladies next to me at all.

11:30 am
Since my flight arrived earlier than expected and the whole ride from SFO to the Powell Station took like 10-15 minutes, I was at my hotel at 11am, way early. I checked into my room, which was super tiny, had no desk, and a view of the exterior wall of the next building. So I lugged my bags downstairs (I carried 13 books in addition to my laptop, clothes and other junk) and asked for a room with a desk, which meant I had to wait a while. I went to Bristol Farms and had a nice sushi roll and a diet Pepsi. I asked where the spicy tuna rolls were and the lady at the counter said "Don't worry, I make roll for you fresh," which makes this the best Bristol Farms ever. When I got back they gave me an upgrade (which I cannot even think about now without hearing Beyonce’s “Upgrade” song that is used in that Direct TV commercial –ugh) to a king sized bed. My new room looks out onto Ellis, has a colossal TV, and a nice desk with a li’l fridge in it!

I promptly went out and filled the fridge with 7-ups and a small bottle of vodka. Because writers write, but they also drink. And I had to buy a razor and shaving cream because I forgot, and I’d already let it go a few days. I only brought jeans, but still, I have my standards. And I bought some teriyaki rice crackers. It was a Walgreens. You get shoppy at a Walgreens, ok?

12:36 pm
Sat down to write. Got all my notes and books out and wrote for four hours straight. Did good work too. I may have a chapter done before the night is out. I can hear the cable car’s bell every now and then. It’s very charming. Not as charming however, as the lady singing “How Will I Know?” by Whitney Houston on the street below. Or the booming system that is playing some sort of robot rap song. But it feels good to be in a city. The City. I love it here.

I got stuck on a section that I kept revising and turning it into mush. Thought it would be a good time for a break. I went around taking photos of various street things, stopped into an H&M and bought nothing.

After walking for a bit, I decided to try King of Thai Noodle House for dinner, which was very tasty (thanks to Tiny Heat for the reference).

I took my noodles back to my room, watched Giada stir some soup on the Food Network and then took a long hot shower. Called M. on Skype and finally figured out how to talk using video phone for free. It was really cool. Everyone who reads this should download Skype and use it. Everything is totally free, and you don’t even have to use the video thing. You can just chat. No money required! I thought my dog, Radley, would be really into hearing my voice and seeing my face, but he didn’t get it at all, and was kind of annoyed that we interrupted his sleep to push a laptop screen into his face. After we hung up, I uploaded some pics on Flickr and wrote the bulk of this stuff. I feel like I have to do some of this kind of writing everyday or I will fry my brain. Dissertation writing is like writing in a different language, full of constraints and hesitations. I enjoy my work a lot, but the writing isn’t as fun as the teaching. Especially when you are wading through reviewer comments. Sigh...

Sat back down to work in my jammies, wearing a bandana. M. hates when I wear a bandana. Don’t know why, but his mouth becomes a straight line when he sees me in a bandana. I love that my wavy floppy hair is out of the way.

Went around my whole floor looking for the ice machine. There wasn’t one. That’s strange. I poured a drink anyway. It was chilly, but I pretty much just sipped it forever because without ice, it’s not that great.

Ok, seriously, what’s up with no ice machines? I left my soda can out and it’s warm now, so I called the front desk. They don’t have ice machines here at Hotel Abri, but they will send a bucket right up for me. Awesome!

12 am
Whoa. I worked a bunch. Did you know Thursday is the new Friday? It is at the bar downstairs. Woo girls are everywhere. There are even some Woo Guys. I am too enamoured with the idea of progress to be distracted. I'm doing good folks. Just a couple more revisions before lights out, I think.

1:15 am
I am finally about to sleep because I made some great progress today. Tomorrow I will be moving on to more interesting material to write about, so maybe it will be easier. Plus CW and Tiny Heat are meeting me for dinner. Wish me luck!

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